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Date of Passing: Jul 20, 2015

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DR. MARY ISABELLE YOUNG 1952 - 2015 With deep sadness we announce that suddenly, on Monday, July 20, 2015, Mary passed away with her family by her side. Mary was predeceased by her parents, Charlie and Isabelle Young (nee Orvis); her brothers Albert, Alex "Loont" and Leonard; and her sisters Margaret "Lizzie" and Alice. Remaining to treasure the memories of Mary's life are her sisters Lillian, Mildred, Martina, Yvonne, and Virginia, and her brothers Frank (Ellen), Arnold (Shirley), Louie, Danny, and John (Agnes). Mary is also lovingly remembered by her partner of over 20 years, Ron; his parents Glen and Lois Hector; and brothers Carl (Cathy) and Gerry (Laurie), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mary was proud to be an Anishinabe Kwe from Bloodvein First Nation. She received her early education in Bloodvein before leaving, as a result of residential schooling policies, at the age of 14. Mary attended residential school in Pine Creek and Winnipeg before graduating from Kelvin High School. Mary was supported in her final years of high school education by George and Lenore Taylor. This cherished bond continued into her adult life as Lois Taylor became a sister to her. Mary obtained her BA from the University of Winnipeg, and her Post-Baccalaureate and Masters in Education from the University of Manitoba. She completed her PhD in First Nations Education at the University of Alberta. Notwithstanding her degrees, Mary especially honoured the way her parents taught and educated her. She believed that they were truly her first teachers. Mary credited her parents with helping her pursue her Anishinabe language, in which she found much value and fulfillment. Mary's worldview continued to be shaped by her parents throughout her career. Her passion for the preservation of the Anishinabe language and cultural identity was a central theme in her publications and presentations at national and international conferences. Over the course of her career at the University of Winnipeg, Mary held several positions including Native Studies Advisor, Counsellor, Director of Aboriginal Students, and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education. Most recently, Mary had dedicated her time and energy to the education of young people regarding the devastating legacy of residential schools. She believed in the power of sharing our lived experiences with one another, and demonstrated that large-scale change often begins with the personal. Over her career, Mary was the recipient of the University of Winnipeg Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness and was nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (Education and Leadership). Mary also served with pride on the Helen Betty Osborne Foundation and the Louis Riel Institute Board, as well as the planning committee for the annual Aboriginal Education Forum, "Shawane Dagosiwin." Mary was also a member of many academic gatherings for her ongoing scholarly work, most recently in narrative inquiry. Outside of her academic life, Mary was an active and competitive athlete. She was a longtime member of Family Court Curling and the Granite Women's Curling League; she golfed with the Windsor Park Ladies and won a silver medal in golf at the 2003 Indigenous Games. Mary also had a long career playing mixed and women's softball, including competing at the national level. Other sports interests included tennis, racquetball, and walking. Mary's love of sports included being an enthusiastic spectator at Goldeyes games and attending many national events including the Brier, Scotties, Rogers Cup, Spring Training, and World Junior Hockey. As her health fluctuated, Mary continued to stay connected with her loved ones through frequent lunches, phone calls or visits with her dear friends Jan, Murray, Pam, Dianne, Tracy, Jeff, Cathy, Eva, Clifford, and Gil. Mary also enjoyed her regular contact with her nieces Lisa, Cindy, Emily and Olivia, and her nephew Andrew. Mary was a wise and caring aunt who never hesitated to display her love and affection for her nieces and nephews. Her keen intelligence, determination, and kindness remain an inspiration to them all. Mary taught us to stand by our convictions, to be open-hearted and expressive, and to treat others with respect. As her family and friends, we will strive to live out these beliefs, in ways both big and small that would make Mary proud. A celebration of Mary's life, through stories and songs, will begin with prayers on Monday, July 27, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Harrow United Church, 955 Mulvey Ave., Winnipeg. The celebration will continue with funeral services on Tuesday, July 28, at 10:30 a.m. at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary's name can be made to the SERDC Indian Residential School Program at 200-360 Broadway Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0T6. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 25, 2015

Condolences & Memories (12 entries)

  • I was so deeply saddened to hear about her passing. I was out of town so missed the opportunity to honor a woman I truly respected. She touched so many with her heart, warmth and an honest caring attitude. I say thank you for all you did for so many in the community. I thank you Mary for you personal friendship and memories we shared during times we worked together, curled and played softball. I give our condolences to her family and Ron. Reid & Heather Hartry - Posted by: Reid Hartry (friend) on: Oct 07, 2015

  • Eventhough I have not been in touch with Mary for several years - I have many fond memories of good times-trips to Minneapolis/camping adventures/sporting events. I will cherish the friendship and laughter we shared. My condolences to her Family and Ron. - Posted by: Cindy Smith (An old Friend) on: Jul 28, 2015

  • My sincere condolences to Mary's family and friends. I met Mary when she was a student and I a new teacher at Kelvin in the early '70's. It was wonderful to read of her accomplishments and the profound effect she has had, and will continue to have, on the people with whom her path crossed. She has left us a legacy. - Posted by: Patricia Holbrow (teacher) on: Jul 28, 2015

  • I am sad to see a wonderful women leave us in her early life stages. She was a woman with great wisdom and bravery with sharing her life story. She will be missed by our community. May she travel with love with our Creator. Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Haven Stumpf () on: Jul 27, 2015

  • I will miss Mary deeply. Her beautiful soul and generous spirit are an inspiration. She loved life and all the people around her. Keep on singing for us as we will for you, Singing Turtle Woman. - Posted by: Karen Tarr (friend and colleague) on: Jul 27, 2015

  • Dr. Mary Young was looking for co authors for our book Warrior Women and they were right under her nose while I attended U of W Mary and I became friends she was always there for me as we narrated together along with the others she mentored me along my educational path with encouragement I will always remember you Mary Dr. Young with fond memories we did it our book became published very happy to say I knew her she took me to other parts of Canada I may never have went and met the team in Atlantic Canada you know who you are and Jan we were all a team She called I heard her voice She called Brenda so we went back to our base. Mii'we Miigwech for everything Mary. - Posted by: Thunderbirdsounding From The West Woman Brenda Mary Parisian (Co Author) on: Jul 27, 2015

  • Mary has been very influential in my life. Without her, I don't think I would have come this far. She believed in me and helped me believe that I can do anything, because of Mary I am a teacher. She was my mentor and someone I respected deeply, I will miss her and her phone calls. She once told me, "Jerri-Lynn, never every let anyone burn out the fire with you, no one can put out the fire except you"...this message has stuck with me for over 8 years and has helped me so much. Dear Mary, I will never ever let that happen and I will keep on keeping on for you, for our people...xoxo - Posted by: Jerri (she took me under her wing) on: Jul 27, 2015

  • I came to know Mary during my time at the University of Winnipeg, 2001-2005. I very much admired her and enjoyed every aspect of our work together. During those years I relied on Mary for her knowledge, wisdom and insight in all aspects of indigenous education. When I left Winnipeg she gave me Anishinabe gifts I will always cherish. - Posted by: Patrick Deane () on: Jul 27, 2015

  • I got to know Mary at the University of Winnipeg's Faculty Club. I loved that every hello and goodbye with her was accompanied by a hug. Her wisdom, stories, laughter, and warmth will be missed. - Posted by: Jolene Braun (colleague) on: Jul 27, 2015

  • I will always love you auntie and never forget you. - Posted by: Lisa Young (Niece) on: Jul 25, 2015

  • Mary will be truly missed by her family. She was an inspiration to us all and that inspiration will continue. Her wisdom and humour made her someone that you could easily share anything with. I keep wanting to phone her to share a story or happening with her, but alas this will only happen in my mind and heart! Love you always Mary! - Posted by: Ellen Young (sister in law) on: Jul 25, 2015

  • I had the great pleasure of working with Mary at The University of Winnipeg for a number of years. As a young person just starting my career, I was profoundly influenced by Mary's professionalism and warmth. She was a genuine and kind person. My condolences to Ron and her family. - Posted by: Wendy (Phaneuf) Sikora (Former Colleague) on: Jul 25, 2015

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
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